Prof. Larry Cebula at Northwest History blog directed me to this parodic mashup of 1776 and Brokeback Mountain, made all the more believable by hunky Ken Howard in the role of Thomas Jefferson.
But in fact, during the Second Continental Congress the fellow delegate whom John Adams slept with was not Jefferson but Benjamin Franklin. So Adams wrote many years later in his autobiography, describing their trip to the New York area to negotiate with Gen. William Howe.
Monday September 9, 1776.In Passionate Sage, his engaging study of the second President in retirement, Prof. Joseph Ellis pointed out how in this anecdote Adams managed to slough off what many folks have seen as his most costly character flaw. As Adams told the story, he was the amenable bedfellow and Franklin the man who was too insistent and long-winded.
At [New] Brunswick, but one bed could be procured for Dr. Franklin and me, in a little Chamber little larger than the bed, without a Chimney and with only one small Window. The Window was open, and I, who was an invalid and afraid of the Air in the night, shut it close.
Oh! says Franklin dont shut the Window. We shall be suffocated.
I answered I was afraid of the Evening Air.
Dr. Franklin replied, the Air within this Chamber will soon be, and indeed is now worse than that without Doors: come! open the Window and come to bed, and I will convince you: I believe you are not acquainted with my Theory of Colds.
Opening the Window and leaping into Bed, I said I had read his Letters to Dr. [Samuel] Cooper in which he had advanced, that Nobody ever got cold by going into a cold Church, or any other cold Air: but the Theory was so little consistent with my experience, that I thought it a Paradox: However I had so much curiosity to hear his reasons, that I would run the risque of a cold.
The Doctor then began an harrangue, upon Air and cold and Respiration and Perspiration, with which I was so much amused that I soon fell asleep, and left him and his Philosophy together: but I believe they were equally sound and insensible, within a few minutes after me, for the last Words I heard were pronounced as if he was more than half asleep. . . .